Dirty dam scandal rocks mining corp

A Shenzhen Stock Exchange-listed mining corporation applied for suspension of its stock on Tuesday after a media report on Sunday that alleged massive waste discharge issues with three tributaries of the Zhangjiang River in Jiangxi Province.

“Now we are under inspection due to the news report,” a Zhangyuan Tungsten Company board secretary office staff member who requested anonymity told the Global Times. “Results will soon be released.”

The Zhangyuan Tungsten Company is Chongyi county’s top taxpayer, accounting for nearly a quarter of its total fiscal revenue.

“This is typical local government misbehavior driven by economics and tax revenue at the price of environmental destruction,” Gong Santang, vice chairman of the Jiangxi Provincial People’s Congress Environmental and Resources Protection Committee, said, according to Xinhua.

Zhangyuan’s Taoxikeng tungsten mine and Xinanzi tungsten-tin mine in Chongyi county and the Shilei tungsten mine in Dayu county had dammed Zhangjiang River tributaries the Mixi, Renjing and Zuoba rivers for purposes of waste disposal, Xinhua reported.

The Renjing River used to be the main water source for local people’s life, Chongyi county villager Huang Mingcai told the agency, and it was not until villagers had complained many times that the company finally made water available to them.

The 1,900 villagers of Zuoba in Dayu county claim their crop output has declined after they started using water from the dam.

“My fish died from time to time because of the polluted water,” fishpond owner Cao Shujiu told the agency.

Not far from Zuoba, a 50-meter dam wall has been built on the mountainside, leading to villagers living in constant fear of heavy rain.

“When a serious flood comes, the waste materials and water in the dam will flow downstream and have the potential of polluting the downstream water and the ecosystem,” Gong told the official agency.

No organization or individual can change the natural watercourse without approval from government departments including the environmental protection department and work safety department, according to China’s flood control regulations. Zhangyuan has no proof of approval from the flood control administration, the Shanghai-based CBN-China Business Network reported on its website on Tuesday.

Zhangyuan had started building a dam by its Shilei tungsten plant before the official document issued by Jiangxi Provincial Administration of Work Safety, the website also alleged.

Global Times

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